Irene Gunning

Irene has recently retired from Early Childhood Ireland (ECI). While in this position, she carried full responsibility for the strategic development of the organisation, working with the staff, board and members. The organisation has 3,300 members, the largest of its kind in Ireland. It represents over 110,000 families around the country through its membership base of crèches, playgroups, parent and toddler groups, and after-school and out of school groups as well as individual members.

Irene’s strength in building and maintaining strategic stakeholder relationships at international, national and local level has been critical to the growth of the organisation. She has been influential within the sector in Ireland, playing a central role in making early childhood care and education more accessible, quality driven and above all more focused on child well-being, involvement and learning.

Irene is currently studying Group Analytic Psychotherapy in the School of Psychotherapy at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, on the MSc Programme, School of Medicine, UCD. Irene has completed the Advanced Course in 2012, including a clinical placement in Tallaght Mental Health Services 2011.

Irene has a keen interest in the child as subject in the early childhood education discourse as well as the psychoanalytic one. Her early career background was in clinical biochemistry, and she has worked for over 5 years in a large city general hospital.

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